Whole Grain Loaves without Vital Wheat Gluten, and Highlights from the Mill City Bread Festival

whole grain homemade bread

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When we wrote Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day in 2009, we made a strategic choice. We knew that most of our readers liked their bread light and fluffy, and our refrigerator storage technique could be unforgiving when you used a lot of whole grains. For some of our tasters, whole-grain bread made from wet dough stored in the fridge could be a little too dense for their taste. So we lightened things up a bit, by boosting the gluten in our whole grain doughs that appear in that book, using vital wheat gluten (VWG). Well, I’ve been experimenting on whole-grain doughs stored without VWG, and I’ve been pleased with the results. Here’s a simple alternative recipe for whole grain loaves without the added gluten. Plus, highlights from our appearance at the Mill City Bread Festival. Continue reading

We’re in the Sept/Oct edition of Simply Gluten-Free Magazine, and Jeff’s at the Mill City Bread Festival this Saturday at 10am

Simply GF Magazine

Thanks, Simply Gluten-Free Magazine, for including Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (available for pre-order) in your Fall Harvest Issue (we’re in the “How-To” books section on page 108).

GFin5 in SimplyGF Mag

And tomorrow, Saturday September 13 at 10:00am, Jeff will be tossing pizzas at the Mill City Bread Festival, hope to see you there–I’ll be doing a demo, handing out some samples, and doing an impromptu book-signing. Last year was great fun…

Tossing-the-dough

Dutch Crunch Bread

Dutch Crunch 06

How is it that I’d never tried Dutch Crunch bread, never even heard of it? It’s a loaf that seems to be ubiquitous in the San Francisco area, and it would seem that they have been keeping it all for themselves. Now that I’ve had it I can’t blame them. Dutch Crunch gets its name from a similar bread found in the Netherlands, which is called Tiger Bread (tijgerbrood or tijgerbol). It’s easy to see how it got that name. The tiger spots are created by covering the dough with a slurry of rice flour, sugar, yeast and toasted sesame oil. The fragrance of the sesame is fantastic and the slightly sweet crispy bits on the loaf are hard to resist picking off and snacking on before you ever cut into the bread.  Continue reading

Cinnamon Rolls-On-A-Stick: perfect for the Minnesota State Fair

cinnamon rolls on a stick

The MN State Fair is open, so the annual food-on-a-stick showdown has begun. This is an update of an old post–a few years ago, Jeff and I presented our bread methods and introduced our latest and greatest achievement; Bread-on-a-Stick at booth run by St. Agnes Baking Companyin the Creative Arts Building.

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Truck Stop Cinnamon Rolls!

truck stop cinnamon rolls | bread in 5

Making cinnamon rolls is hands down one of the most popular ways that folks use our brioche dough. Not only is this an easy dough to prepare, but since it can be used for up to five days after being made, there is the potential to eat cinnamon rolls every day of the week. Of course, we stand by the phrase “all things in moderation,” but it’s still nice to know that there’s a way to make every Monday morning more enjoyable.

Truck stop cinnamon rolls are not much different than our regular buns, they are just significantly bigger (each one can serve two. Or more?). They are perfect for brunch or company; a special indulgence. We have two ways to make them: large and extra large. Our video for Gold Medal Flour shows how to make them plus-sized for just a few, and our post below shows them just a bit smaller, to feed more. Either way, they’re a great choice.

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Doughnuts

doughnuts ABin5 12

I was thrilled when doughnuts took over as the “hot dessert trend” from the fanciful cupcake. I do like cupcakes, but they don’t excite me like a freshly made doughnut. These days you can find gourmet doughnut shops popping up all over the USA. They offer the classic flavors along with some very exotic, even esoteric combinations. I’ve seen everything from bacon to rose petals on a doughnut. I’ve tried every combination I can find and for me it all comes down to the dough. I like soft, airy yeast dough and it should be slightly sweet, but not overly so. The gourmet shops use great ingredients and treat their dough with TLC, so they often cost a small fortune. Truth is, homemade doughnuts are super easy and quick to make, especially with our five minute dough. You can make them as fancy or simple as you like and they only cost about 20 cents each, add a few cents for the bacon and rose petals! ;) Continue reading

Five Rules for Making Great Grilled Pizza Outdoors on the 4th of July, With Red Star Platinum Yeast: NEW VIDEO!

artisan bread in five pizza on the grill

Getting a perfect result with homemade pizza on the gas grill in the summertime is easy–you just need to mix up some lean dough from any of our books–we’ve been testing with Red Star Platinum Yeast–with fantastic results (today’s dough was the light whole wheat, but you can use any of our lean doughs)…

Platinum Yeast | Breadin5

… and follow a few simple rules from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day…

artisan bread in five pizza on the grill

1.  Clean the grill’s grates
2.  Get your dough thin, to 1/8 of an inch thick
3.  Bake the first side of the crust “blind” (without toppings) for about three minutes, then flip and top. Prep all your toppings in advance.
4.  Cut the cheese into small cubes, or grate it so it melts fast, before the bottom crust burns. That way, after flipping and topping, the pizza will be finished in five to ten minutes, depending on burner heat and position under the pizza.
5.  Don’t overload with toppings

grilled pizza from artisan bread in five

Here’s a video on how to do it: (includes demo of pizza dough-throwing technique):

Rhubarb Upside-Down Brioche Cake

Rhubarb Upside-Down Brioche Cake | Bread in 5

One of the best indicators that spring is finally here to stay is when my rhubarb plant finally pops above the ground. It is incredibly faithful; no matter how cold the winter was, it never fails to grow again each May. Right now it is out-of-control, as the towering green leaves threaten to take over my entire garden. I’ve been looking for new ways to cook and bake with it, and was intrigued by several rhubarb upside-down cakes I spotted on Pinterest. However, I had a bucket of brioche in my fridge, so instead of mixing up cake batter I simply rolled out my dough and placed it over hot rhubarb and sugar. It was a success: a sweet-tart treat perfect for breakfast, or afternoon snacking.

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Focaccia Bread, Two Ways!

meyer lemon + thyme focaccia | bread in 5

My family loves eating bread, but some evenings, after school, work, and afternoon activities, there isn’t much time to bake a whole loaf in time for dinner. We recently re-discovered focaccia bread, however, and it has been a quick way to put bread on the table.

Focaccia is terribly delicious; it’s a perfect accompaniment to pasta or soup, and it even makes great afternoon snack. While focaccia can be topped with all kinds of ingredients, we prefer ours rather simple: onions and rosemary scattered on an olive oil-dough flatbread. We even keep the ingredients light to promote nice browning, and the results are a well-flavored bread with a crisp crust. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can try our Meyer lemon-thyme version; Meyer lemons are much sweeter than regular lemons and are a delicious option.

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Flour Mixture #1 from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Flour Mixture #1 from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5

By keeping a supply of our two gluten-free flour mixtures in the house, you can make any of the recipes in Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Flour Mixture #1, reprinted here from the book, is for a mostly white flour, though it becomes 75% whole-grain by weight if you swap brown rice flour (increase the liquids in the recipes by 2 tablespoons if you do this). It’s the only flour you need for some of our on-line recipes, and for the basic white loaf. If you’re sensitive to any of these ingredients, you’ll find substitutions in the book. We tested this flour mixture with Bob’s Red Mill products because they are available across the nation. If you use other brands you may find different results in the breads–especially in the amount of liquid they’ll absorb.

If you’re measuring by U.S. cup-measures (the first unit in each line), be sure to pack the flour tightly into the cup, as if you were measuring brown sugar.

Makes 4 1/4 pounds (2 kilograms) of flour mixture

White Rice Flour6 cups, or 36 ounces, or 1,020 grams

Sorghum flour: 3 1/4 cups, or 1 pound, or 455 grams

Tapioca Flour or Starch: 1 3/4 cups, or 8 ounces, or 225 grams

Potato Starch*: 1 1/4 cups, or 8 ounces, or 225 grams

Xanthan Gum or Psyllium Husk Powder: 1/4 cup, or 1.4 ounces, or 40 grams

*Don’t substitute potato flour

The ingredients must be very well mixed, otherwise the xanthan gum or psyllium will not be evenly distributed and your loaves will be inconsistent. Whisk and mix the ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart lidded container. Finish by picking up the container and vigorously shaking until the flours are completely blended.

Substituting ingredients: If you don’t eat one of the ingredients above, see our Substitutions Page. Other substitutions may be possible, but those are the ones we’ve tested and liked.